My boyfriend and I are coming up on our two-year anniversary, and yet we’ve never lived in the same city. We met while we were still in college, having chosen to study abroad in the same far away country. However, we didn’t start dating until several years later – we had struck up a conversation after not talking for a long time, and I nervously invited him to be my date to a wedding. The rest is history! When we started dating, we lived about a six-hour drive away from each other back in the states. Now, he still lives in the states, but you know, I live in Dubai, so it’s just a TAD farther away. But even with the distance, I love both him and our relationship. With so many people exploring the world and living places far away from home, I thought I would share some of the things that have helped to keep our relationship strong despite the distance.
1)Talk. (Texting Doesn’t Count)
The beauty of modern technology is that you can literally be in contact any time of the day or night. But, and be honest here, when is the last time that you bared your soul via text? Texting is great for little check ins and jokes, but it takes a lot of effort to text all the details of whatever happened to you during the day, and that’s the deeper part of the relationship. You don’t need to talk every day, but at least aim for once a week when you can take an hour or so to talk about the successes and challenges you’ve been experiencing. If you can Skype or FaceTime, it’s even better – it’s always nice to see the other person’s face.
2) Know When You’ll See Each Other Next
Being able to count down the days gives you something to look forward to. When life is feeling tough or you are feeling especially lonely, knowing you won’t have to wait too much longer to feel the comfort of being with your loved one makes everything seem a little easier. Also, it helps to build the anticipation for when you will see each other again, especially when the count drops from days to hours!
3) Trust Each Other
This one may be either the easiest or the hardest, depending on who you are. If you are naturally a jealous person, a long-distance relationship may not be right for you (and that’s okay – everyone is entitled to their own feelings). You could try distance bracelets to show off your commitment to one another while apart. But when you spend the majority of your time away from your partner, there will come a time when you realize that technically they could do anything when you’re not around, and you’d never know. So you just have to trust them and trust in your relationship. You’ll also need to trust each other in the sense of just being comfortable sharing when you are feeling that the distance is hard or that the relationship isn’t where you want it to be. Sometimes it can feel easy to not share the hard things since you aren’t seeing each other every day, but it’s not fair to tackle those problems alone and not as a team.
4) Take Holiday Together
This is the fun part. Making time to see each other during your regular work schedule can be a little bit draining, especially if you have to drive long distances. Obviously, it’s worth it to be together, but it’s not the same kind of restful as a holiday. Taking real time to spend together to enjoy each other’s company is pretty much the greatest. No responsibilities. Just fun and relaxation.
5) Be Honest About Your Future
I am sure there are people in this world who could easily spend their whole life dating someone from afar. I am not one of those people. What you want for your future can change constantly, and that’s okay. In my example, I was planning on moving to where my boyfriend lived, but then ended up in Dubai instead. However, you do need to keep the lines of communication about this open. When do you want to for sure want to live in the same place? What is preventing you from doing that now? If things don’t turn out as you plan, what’s the backup solution? You may end up having to compromise, but whatever the solution is, you need to sort it out as a team and be honest about what you want.